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Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) arrives in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under
Luijkx confirms deal with former rider
De Gendt finished third in the Giro d’Italia in 2012 and the team subsequently extended his contract and improved his wage for several seasons. At the time Luijkx had a loose agreement with Vacansoleil to extend their team commitments beyond 2013. However, the company confirmed this year that they no longer wanted to sponsor a WorldTour team and Luijkx was unable to find a replacement.
De Gendt eventually signed for Omega Pharma-QuickStep on a deal reportedly at 80 per cent less than his Vacansoleil-DCM salary. The rider then threatened to take Luijkx to court over the contract he’d signed with his manager after the 2012 Giro. The two year contract was reportedly worth €1,1 million a year.
However, Luijkx confirmed to Cyclingnews that the matter had been settled. He would not go into specifics.
“We talked with each other and eventually with the lawyers and we came to an agreement. That’s the only thing that we want to say at this time. We had a good meeting and now everything is finished,” he told Cyclingnews.
“In 2012 he had a contract for that year and 2013. He was third in the Giro in 2012 and we then renewed his contract for 2013. We made it longer, going up to 2015 because I had an agreement of intention with Vacansoleil, but they had the right to end the agreement and finally in 2013 they told me they would not extend the team with the contract. So I had one rider on contract but without a team so we had to make a deal with him and that’s now finalized."